Sunday, 22 March 2015

A very welcome 3 points / clean sheet

You make your prediction about a home draw (thankfully incorrect) and then rip-up everything after just 89 seconds; when the opposition get the wrong man sent off for a last-man challenge on Wilfried Bony.

I’ll take anything at the moment…


Failed barometer check

Having played against 10 men for 90 minutes and 31 seconds yesterday it sort of, frustratingly, doesn’t give us any idea ‘where we’re at’ after a torrid time of 1 win and 4 defeats in the previous 5 games in all competitions. Not WANTING to look for negatives in yesterday’s victory of course; that’s about the only really.
The early sending off kind of turned the game into a training match of ‘defence v attack’ yesterday and, in doing so, dulled the atmosphere within the ground in many respects.
Before the game I always thought it was goin’ to be a flat crowd and slightly flat performance yesterday and with Albion having lost a defender so very early on, it proved to be a double-edged sword; slightly dulling for the fans in the stand but, no doubt, helped to buoy the potentially nervous & self-doubting City players.
It was clearly ‘backs to the walls’ for the visitors and I have to give our players credit for breaking down such an entrenched, already-steely (under Tony Pulis) side. You just got the feeling though (well I did at least) that it could and, indeed, should have been much more following the departure of Gareth McAuley.
They played with, pretty much, just Saido Berahino “up front” on his own in a 4-4-1 and although 3-0 is a very welcoming, goal-difference bonus result at a time where the goals ‘for & against’ could prove, once again, so very, very important; had our passing radar and shooting boots been tied just a little bit more securely it could should have been at least double that scoreline.
Sergio couldn’t buy a goal yesterday, as the phrase goes, but that was largely due to a brilliant, MotM performance from The Baggies’ keeper, Boaz Myhill. The USA born, England Under-20, then-Welsh international (with a Hebrew first name) stopper had an exceptional game deputising for the 6-month injured Ben Foster.

Other notable performances

I thought the two players down our right-hand-side, Zabaleta & Navas, enjoyed some real freedom of movement and, as I’ve already alluded to, perhaps it should have yielded more end-product-results. But they played well.
Fernando will never enjoy that much room ever again unless the same set of circumstances occur and, looking at it slightly negatively (I’m sorry); for THAT reason he had probably his best game for us.
You could sort of say similarly for his ex-Porto teammate, Eliaquim Mangala. Aside from an unpunished, clumsy (once again) high-footed challenge in the WBA area that lead to Fernando’s goal (our 1,000th Premier League goal we were informed over the tannoy system) he had a good, solid game.
Yeah you could argue that he only really had one player to control…but, having had my first PROPER look at Saido Berahino; not only is he the handful I’ve seen in ‘bits ‘n’ pieces’ and have heard a lot about; but for a fairly slight-framed player he’s as strong as someone twice his size.
He’ll be on the move in the summer, I’m sure, and if it wasn’t for his apparent ‘Billy big biscuits’ attitude I’d be seriously wanting us to replace the possibly-departing Jovetic and / or Dzeko with this young striker.
On Dzeko…although only on for 14 minutes (including 2-minutes injury time) I thought his attitude was lamentable. What an appalling and so-obvious (once again) attitude Mr Sulk has. Pathetic excuse for a player.
Whoever might be in charge next season; we could do FAR worse than replace the Bosnian and Montenegrin flops with the English pair of the afore mentioned, 21-year old Berahino and out-of-contract, 22-year old Danny Ings to join Aguero & Bony in attack.
What a ‘superb 4’ that would be - mixing youth with experience and English with foreign players.

To sum up…

A good, much-needed 3 points and clean sheet going into a ‘no home-game-period’ of a whole month; with an international break (welcome or otherwise) and back-to-back away games at Crystal Palace and Manyoo.
Arsenal hung on for a 2-1 away win at Newcastle yesterday and, in doing so, keep the pressure on us, which is not necessarily a bad thing in a way; fingers crossed then that today’s Liverpool v Manyoo ends in a draw or, next best, a Liverpool win.
It’s still ‘twitching your arses’ time [in pursuit of 2nd, 3rd or 4th] as the irritating Dutch egomaniac might say…


  1. Steve,

    I got it you really don't like Dzeko. I am not trilled with Dzeko either this year, but let's not forget that guy has given us an important push last year.

    1. The guy can have a (good) habit of scoring key goals and key times and in key games, as you suggest. That, for me however, tends to mask the fact that for the most part he's just not got the basic quality required and his attitude a lot of the time is terrible.

      I hope, of course, that he can contribute to us finishing at least 2nd this season - not good results for us yesterday...

      Thanks for reading & commenting!